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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A Few Thoughts on the Vagina Monologues

In the process of creating the previous post, I perused the Wikipedia article about The Vagina Monologues and was rather surprised that it said some pro-sex feminists had described them as sex-negative or male-bashing. I had, in fact, been worried before seeing them that this would turn out to be true, but I didn't find them that way at all.

Notably, at a couple points the characters, who I understand to be based on real women, say rather apologetically that their stories aren't "politically correct" -- like the woman who explains that she didn't like her vagina till she met a man who loved to ogle it. It may be considered a sad comment on the ideological climate in some circles, that they would feel the need to make such apologies. But they tell their stories anyway, never mind their "incorrectness" -- and Eve Ensler, the Monologues' creator, didn't censor them. It seems to me that this amounts to an implicit criticism of "PC," not an endorsement of it.

Eric Hamell

P.S. In fact, it occurs to me that the piece I mentioned above, "Because He Liked to Look at It," not only is not male-bashing but appears as a rather direct challenge to the negative critique of "male gaze" that is so central for many idealist feminists.

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